What is a feminist government?

Spain has joined Canada and Sweden in proclaiming its government to be "feminist." But what does that mean?

These openly feminist governments

Sweden, Canada, Spain: these states take concrete measures for women's rights and promote them

“Women's rights are human rights, we are born equal, and these rights must be promoted in all political fields. Half of your population is made up of women, girls, young women, elderly women, and they must be integrated into politics, into the economy of your country. Otherwise, you would lose the constructive contribution of part of the population. We are talking about a healthy economy and healthy policies. If you integrate women into the economy, your economy will grow. The statistics are pretty clear on this. ”

This poignant speech was made by Veronika Wand-Danielsson, the Swedish ambassador to France. She was already a member of the Swedish government when it declared itself a feminist in 2014. Sweden is the first country in history to have made such an announcement. Canada and Spain have since followed suit. To have a feminist government and a feminist foreign policy, Veronika Wand-Danielsson believes that three fundamental principles should be applied.

The three principles of Veronika Wand-Danielsson

"The first is the law. Equal opportunities and gender issues are a matter of human rights. Women and men have the same rights. We must therefore ensure that the rights of women are established, supported and defended everywhere, in all contexts, whether at national, European or international level. The second principle is representation. Representation implies that in every forum, whether in the private or public sector, if a decision is made and it concerns a woman, then a woman should be seated at the table and participate in the development of the law. She should participate in the decision, bring her influence with her own opinions and thoughts so that the best decisions are made, integrating, from the stage of the bill, the needs of women and girls. And the third principle is the resource. Women have different needs. Girls have different needs. It is therefore important to ensure that resources adequately meet the identified needs of young girls and women.”

Since Sweden said it had a feminist government in 2014, the country has passed a law that defines sex without consent as rape. It has allocated more than $ 58 million for gender equality. Finally, even though almost all fathers take parental leave, the government has introduced a third month of paid parental leave for fathers.

More than half of the countries have never had a woman as head of state

For its part, the Canadian government of Justin Trudeau has taken measures such as the introduction of a child care allowance, thereby helping women from modest families, the proposal for a law for equal pay in the goal of bridging the income gap, and doubled the budget for the Women's Program, a solidarity fund providing grants to feminist organizations. Canada, Spain and Sweden are among the 10 governments that promote gender parity the most. Spain is the first of them: it is the country with the highest proportion of women ministers. Little consolation when you know that more than half of the countries in the world have never had a woman as head of state.